The Deliverance from Bondage, cont’d. Exodus 1-18
Exodus 5-18 The Display of God’s Power, cont’d.
Exodus 11:1-12:36-Plague #10-Death of the Firstborn of all of Egypt
Exodus 11:1-God knew ahead of time exactly what it was going to take to convince Pharaoh to let the people go and how it would happen...this is His omniscience (He knows all things…this includes but is not limited to all matters pertaining to the science of the universe; all matters pertaining to the course of history, both past and future; all matters pertaining to truth; all matters pertaining to morals and ethics).
Exodus 11:1-8-God sends Moses to tell Pharaoh about the last and final plague. The first-born of all the people and cattle of the Egyptians will die…about midnight (:4). But none of the Hebrews will die. This will clearly demonstrate the awesome and overwhelming power of the LORD. Moses left in “hot anger”. Probably due to the defiant attitude of Pharaoh and also due to the fact that he knew that many people were about to die and the sorrow it would bring.
Exodus 11:9-10-One last time the LORD tells Moses that Pharaoh would not listen.
Exodus 12:1-14-The LORD's Passover is instituted (12:11). This time during the year was to become the first month of their calendar year. It was called Abib (a Canaanite word meaning "ear" since the grain was in the ear. It was later changed to Nisan…a Babylonian word).
The Western Calendar (the one we use) and the Hebrew religious calendar can be correlated in this manner:
Nissan (Abib) March-April
Iyyar (Ziv) April-May
Tishri (Ethanim) September-October
Marchesvan (Bul) October-November
For additional information on the Jewish calendar see:
Exodus 12:3-28-Here is the procedure for Passover. They were to:
- obtain a lamb (it could be either a young sheep, or goat) on the 10th day of the month (1 per household, or it may be shared if funds are not available for each individual household); it must be 1-year old lamb, unblemished;
- 14th day…kill the lamb at twilight (depending on interpretation-either 3-5, or 6-7pm)
- wipe some of the blood on the two doorposts and lintel of house in which it is eaten (blood will be a sign to the LORD when He passes over-12:13)
- eat the meat (head, legs, entrails)…it must be cooked over a fire
- also serve unleavened bread and bitter herbs
- anything not eaten must be immediately burned
- they are to eat with their loins girded, sandals on, staff in hand
- they are to eat in a hurry
- it is to be a "memorial" to be celebrated forever (12:14,24)
- no "foreigner" could eat the Passover (12:43), but a circumcised slave bought with money could, a sojourner or hired servant could not
- not break any bone (12:46)
- in order for a male to eat he must be circumcised (12:48-49).
The Passover serves as a wonderful illustration of the redemption that Christ accomplished when He died on the cross at Calvary (cf. John 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7).
- The offering had to be without out blemish (symbolizing the perfection and sinlessness of Christ…Exodus 12:5; 1 Pet. 1:19)
- The lamb had to be killed (symbolizing the atoning death of Christ as payment for sin…Exodus 12:6; John 12:24,27)
- The blood had to be applied (symbolizing the forgiveness of sin and the salvation of the believer…Exodus 12:7; Heb. 9:22)
For a more extensive explanation of the significance of the Passover for Christians see the two following sites:
http://www.chosenpeople.com/main/resources/videos, Messiah in the Passover
Exodus 12:12-This final miracle would prove beyond doubt Who the LORD is
Exodus 12:13-When the LORD comes to the land at midnight He will see the blood that had been applied to the doors of the homes and will pass over it. This act was a sign of faith (cf. Hebrews 11:28). The first-born in those homes will not die.
Exodus 12:14-20-The Feast of Unleavened Bread is instituted, here. It began with a gathering on the evening of Passover (:6,18) and lasted for 7 days. It concluded with another gathering (cf. Leviticus 23:6-8). For 7 days they were to eat unleavened bread (14th-21st of month). On day one they were to remove all leaven from the home. Leaven was a symbol of sin, corruption, and evil (cf. Leviticus 2:11; 1 Corinthians 5:7-8). Anyone eating leaven was to be "cut off" from Israel. They were not allowed to participate in the gathering. This was a ceremonial act in which the person was not allowed to associate with the rest of the people. This was to demonstrate that the people were to have no sin in their lives and that if they did they were not allowed to associate with the rest of the people because their sin could affect others. They were to celebrate a "holy assembly" on the 1st and 7th days...no work could be done on them. The purpose was to recall the day when God brought them out of Egypt.
Exodus 12:21-23-Moses now gives the instructions to the Elders. They were to dip hyssop (a plant in the mint family that was stiff with hairy leaves) into the blood of their lamb and apply it to doorposts and lintel of their home. They were to not go outside the home until morning. The LORD is going to send an angel to pass judgment on the Egyptians. When the angel sees the blood on the doors of their homes he will recognize it as a sign of faith and will “pass over” the house and the "destroyer" will not enter the house and smite them. This is where the term “Passover” originates (:27).
Exodus 12:24-28-This is meant to be an opportunity for the parents to tell their children about God
Exodus 12:29-30-At midnight the LORD struck the Egyptians. Even the first-born of Pharaoh died (we know that Thutmose IV succeeded Amenhotep II, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but Thutmose IV was not his first-born…the first-born died that night).
Exodus 12:31-36-Pharaoh told Moses to take the people and leave..."go worship the LORD as you have said”. As they left, the Egyptians gave them anything that they requested.
Exodus 12:37-600,000 men (the total number of people was probably about 2,000,000).
Exodus 12:38-A "mixed multitude"...included other people who had settled in Egypt (Semites) and some Egyptians. They later became a source of trouble for Moses (Numbers 11:4-6).
Exodus 12:40-"430 years"
The 430 years maybe the total number of years spent in bondage in Egypt, thus approximately equivalent to the 400 years of Genesis 15:13 and Acts 7:6. Or it may be that the years of bondage were 400, and the 430–year figure, used here and in Galatians 3:17, refers to the time between the last confirmation of Abrahamic covenant and beginning of the Mosaic law. (See also Acts 13:19, where 450 years is the approximate time from the beginning of Egyptian bondage until after the conquest of Palestine, including the 40 years of wilderness wandering.
The Ryrie Study Bible, 12:40 footnote, p. 111
Exodus 12:41-51-Here we find very strict requirements concerning who can participate in the Passover.
Prayer: Lord, from a human perspective, I don’t always understand the things that You would have me to do. What difference could putting blood on doorposts make? But it was an act of obedience, of faith. Help me Lord…whether I understand why You would have me to do something, or not…to always be obedient, to always respond to You in faith.